It's the time of year again to review what I've been up to over the last 12 months - lots of new images to add to the collection and some excellent adventures had along the way. In some ways I don't really enjoy this exercise because it means leaving out a lot of images that remind me of special moments. On the other hand it is a lot of fun browsing through a year of images and reliving those moments.
I've tried to include a cross-section of the locations visited and the subjects photographed throughout the year, but in the end it came down to choosing images that I think are both aesthetically pleasing and that contain interesting/dynamic subjects. Sounds simple enough but it is hard to be objective about your own images, as most photographers will tell you.
But the choices have been made....let me know what you think.
Mountains, forest and waterfalls
Despite the warm light, this was the coldest morning I experienced all year. The air temp was -6C when I left the campground for the 40 minute hike to Wrights Lookout, and when I arrived in the dark, an icy wind made it feel considerably colder. By the time sunrise came I'd just about had enough of trying to stay warm - the flood of warm light in this scene didn't do much to raise the temperature but it raised my spirits enough to forget aching fingers for a few moments and concentrate on capturing the scene. 40mm, f11, 1/6 sec, ISO100
The Dandahra Crags has become one of my favourite wild places to visit and photograph in recent years. Its giant boulders and dark grottoes feel mysterious in some intangible way - that's not a feeling I get in many places and in my imagination it comes from the long and ancient association the First Australians have had with this area. I don't know what significance the Crags had for the local people but given the feelings of reverence the area stirs in me I can only guess it has been an important site for thousands of years before I came along. 22mm, f11, 1/2 sec, ISO100
I've experienced sunrise from the summit of Bald Rock 4 or 5 times in the last few years - one of the highlights is watching the sunlight slowly spread over the expansive flanks of the rock, bathing the smooth, water-streaked granite in a warm glow. It's a spectacle I've watched and photographed several times before but it never gets boring, and I've never seen such a beautiful display as this one I captured in August. 40mm, f11, 1/5 sec, ISO100
The scramble down to the top of Boonoo Boonoo Falls isn't that difficult but the steepness of the country and the long drop of the falls always get my nerves tingling. There was a strong flow coming down the river when I visited in May and it was the last morning of my stay before the water level dropped enough that I could reach this spot. And what a spot it is - just beyond the v-notch in the rocks at the top of this image the river tumbles some 200m into a steep-sided gorge. Updrafts from the gorge and the spray of rushing water meet here creating a swirling eddy of wind and moisture that make the place feel wild and a little crazy. My toes and fingers always grip the rocks a little more firmly when I visit this place. 37mm, f18, 1/5 sec, ISO100
It was a morning of mist and frost when I visited Ebor Falls in July. The standard view of the falls from the viewing platform is magnificent and has been well photographed (including by me) so I spent most of my time looking for alternative compositions around the top of the falls. This is one of my favourites. 40mm, f11, 2 sec, ISO100
After hiking to the top of Bald Rock on a cold May morning I was greeted with this glorious scene to the west. Mist in the valleys, a full moon above, the belt of Venus hanging above the horizon and the first warm glow of sunlight lighting the foreground and the tops of Mount Norman and Mallee Ridge (Girraween National Park) in the right background. It is mornings like these that remind me why I love landscape photography. 70mm, f16, 1 sec, ISO100
Just below the summit of Bald Rock the Eucalyptus woodlands were still cloaked in a heavy mist, while the strident tones of lyrebird and honeyeater morning-songs rang through the trees. It can be difficult to find and photograph reasonably clear views of the woodland like this - in most places you are surrounded by trees and scrub and the only way to look is up. For this image I set my tripod on the edge of a huge, sloping boulder that got me up off the forest floor. 40mm, f8, 1/10 sec, ISO100
The first time I hiked the Cascades Trail several years ago I underestimated the exertion and difficulty in navigating this steep, slippery area - by the time I reached Cascade Falls, with a long, uphill slog still ahead of me, I was low on energy and motivation and didn't spend much time photographing it. I was more prepared when I visited in July this year and headed straight down to the falls for an early morning session. The air temperature was below freezing and there were icicles hanging under the creek banks but everything was green and vibrant. I spent several hours down there slowly moving around looking for compositions and being careful not to damage any of the moss or other delicate vegetation along the banks. 17mm, f11, 20 sec, ISO100
I visit this spot often in summer - it's only a short drive from home and has some interesting patterns and shapes among the rocks. On this January morning there was the bonus of a colourful sunrise. 17mm, f11, 20 sec, ISO100
Flowing water, either waves at the beach or a cascade in a mountain stream, is one of my photographic obsessions. I don't have any secret formula for rendering water flow in a way that is pleasing to my eye - variables like flow speed, distance from the camera, focal length and the mood I'm trying to capture all come into play in selecting an appropriate shutter-speed. But I know when I get one I like and this one has the combination of water texture and motion that appeals to me. Okay, I don't have a secret formula, but a shutter speed around 1/8 to 1/4 second is often a good starting point. 17mm , f11, 1/4 sec, ISO100
Soft morning tones and symmetry at Pincushion Island. One of the things I really enjoy about this spot is the walk along the beach to get there in time for sunrise, usually by torchlight but sometimes by moon and starlight. I like hiking by torchlight wherever I go but there is something especially sublime about a walk on the beach in the dark...if you haven't tried it, you should! 17mm, f11, 2.5 sec, ISO100
Point Cartwright is another place I regularly visit - I've captured various images in the past using this standing rock in the composition but this one from November was a happy combination of dramatic skies, breaking waves and a little yacht sailing towards sunrise. Actually it's one of the few images I've taken recently that includes some sign of human existence - nothing against humanity but it's not what inspires me to take photographs. 31mm, f8, 1/13 sec, ISO100
More water flow, this time on the rock platforms at Moffat Head. 34mm, f8, 1/6 sec, ISO100
Lion Rock lies just off one of the rocky headlands in Noosa National Park. The sea is often rough here and you have to carefully pick your conditions if you want to go anywhere near the wave zone. I usually like to get a lot closer than this to photograph Lion Rock but the sea had other ideas on this February morning so I found a safe spot further up the rocks and settled in to watch the power of the waves. 40mm, f11, 1/4 sec, ISO100
What better way to cap off the year than with a glorious sunny morning on Alexandria Beach in Noosa National Park? 17mm, f11, 1/160 sec, ISO100